Good theological graduate programs


#21

[quote="JReducation, post:20, topic:196465"]
I don't know if it's an accreditate graduate school. It may be their own school of theology. I know that it's very good. I've met several graduates from there and have been very impressed by their orthodoxy and their knowledge. But I'm not sure about lay people and degrees.

Fraternally,

Br. JR, OSF :)

[/quote]

It is indeed.

In 1941 the Sacred Congregation of Seminaries and Universities of the Apostolic See designated the Dominican House of Studies an Ecclesiastical Faculty of Theology with authorization to confer ecclesiastical degrees. Presently operating under the provisions of the apostolic constitution Sapienta Christiana (1979), the House of Studies is authorized to grant the degrees Bachelor of Sacred Theology (S.T.B.), Licentiate in Sacred Theology (S.T.L.) and Doctor of Sacred Theology (S.T.D.). In 1976 the House of Studies received civil accreditation from the Association of Theological Schools and the Middle States Commission on Higher Education in order to grant the civil degree of Master of Divinity (M.Div.); this accreditation was expanded in 1993 to include granting the civil degree of Master of Arts (M.A.).


#22

www.liturgicalinstitute.org

Solidly Catholic, and admits lay students.It has an ecclesiastically-accredited faculty, and grants ecclesiastical degrees including doctorate.


#23

[quote="RobNY, post:21, topic:196465"]
It is indeed.

[/quote]

Thanks for the info Rob. I knew that they were accredited by the Church. I did not know that they had a secular accreditation.

But by the time they got it I was no longer in Washington. I was at CUA from 1968 to 1976. Then I went to Rome from 1976 to 1979. Then all over the place.

Fraternally,

Br. JR, OSF :)


#24

Oh, the happy life of an academic- stress and travel!


#25

[quote="Lepanto, post:22, topic:196465"]
www.liturgicalinstitute.org

Solidly Catholic, and admits lay students.It has an ecclesiastically-accredited faculty, and grants ecclesiastical degrees including doctorate.

[/quote]

Good and local, but I don't think I want to study liturgy necessarily. Not sure what area but I think I would want to study either 1) The phenomenon of modern atheism and non religion and our response to it; 2) the Church's teachings on sex and marriage; or 3) studying something that relates to my background in business.


#26

[quote="Young_Thinker, post:24, topic:196465"]
Oh, the happy life of an academic- stress and travel!

[/quote]

The worse part of this life is that after I was out of school, I missed it. Year later I went to another university for a degree in psych. Now I'm getting itchy to get back into a classroom. But we have no money for me to go. :(

Fraternally,

Br. JR, OSF :)


#27

[quote="JReducation, post:26, topic:196465"]
The worse part of this life is that after I was out of school, I missed it. Year later I went to another university for a degree in psych. Now I'm getting itchy to get back into a classroom. But we have no money for me to go. :(

Fraternally,

Br. JR, OSF :)

[/quote]

That is unfortunate.


#28

[quote="LotusCarsLtd, post:11, topic:196465"]
More clarification: I want to eventually get a PhD and teach theology in a university setting. I'm not looking to do ministry or pastoral work.

[/quote]

If you want to teach at the university level, the rule of thumb is to get into the best PhD program possible so that you can teach (and get tenure) at the best university possible. I'm not saying only the best Catholic PhD programs, but the best PhD programs overall. I studied theology as an undergrad at ND, and most of my professors did Ivy League or other top-ranked PhDs, and the situation will be similar at most other universities.

You can do the PhD immediately after completing an undergraduate degree, or you can do a Master's degree (in theology you'll want one that they say explicitly will prepare you for further academic study of theology, typically a Masters of Theological Studies or MTS) and then move on to the PhD. Since you mentioned your background is in business and engineering, you will probably not be qualified for any PhD programs without having done an MTS first.

I have several friends in the MTS program at Notre Dame, some of which are planning to move on to PhD studies afterwards. Notre Dame will give you a solid theological formation from an unabashedly Catholic department; orthodox Catholic theologians are not difficult to find, as most of the faculty have sworn the mandatum.

[quote="ByzCath, post:15, topic:196465"]

On a side note, does the Dominican House of Studies accept lay people into their program? I thought it was just a theologate.

[/quote]

Yes, it does accept lay people.

[quote="LotusCarsLtd, post:17, topic:196465"]
Well I recently ran into another issue that needs to be considered. I had a great conversation today with my business professor who himself is familiar with numerous divinity students at his alma mater. The basic gist of what he told me was that I have to be absolutely sure I want to study this (mainly because of the work involved).

But one of the points that he discussed with me (both in our meeting and before during class) was the importance of differentiating yourself in your career (and sorta hinting at the bad things that happen if you don't). I wholeheartedly agree and I feel the same applies here when one studies theology. It seems many people study theology and it also seems that many might be doing so in the hopes of becoming professors. But in all honesty what are the chances of any of us finding good work even in a good economy? It seems teaching jobs in the humanities are always hard to come by and if as many people as it seems to me are also studying theology to become professors then the competition could be cutthroat.

So for me I realized that perhaps I need to differentiate myself like crazy if I have any chance of finding work as a professor...work to apply my background in a way that hasn't been done before and use this to my advantage. I have a business and engineering/technology background, how can I use this in my theological studies to differentiate myself?

PS: My professor also stated that I don't necessarily have to be a theologian or theology professor...I can certainly study faith-based issues but in a sociological or psychological role instead. Ideas anyone?

[/quote]

Honestly, you need to be 110% sure that graduate studies and a career in higher education are what you want to do. What drives you to want to study theology for 5-7 years? What drives you to want to spend the rest of your life teaching college students, attending conferences, reading, researching, and writing? Are you OK with moving around the country (and the world), incurring more student loan debt, and potentially putting on hold other life plans (such as marriage and family) without a guarantee that you will have a well-paying university job upon completion of your advanced degree?

Tenure-track positions in the humanities are incredibly difficult to come by these days (not that they were ever easy to come by!), and even if you land one you will have to research and write for years in order to land tenure. My suggestion would be to speak with theology professors and grad students at a variety of institutions and ask about their experience of grad school, grad school life, and the hunt for their university teaching position, as well as what kind of hiring is taking place at their universities currently. Unfortunately, I don't think that the career prospects are much better for other disciplines in the humanities and social sciences outside of theology. The supply of qualified PhD candidates is far greater than the demand for theologians.

On a personal note, I considered grad school in theology or political theory as an undergrad, and am very glad that life experience--marriage and a job outside of academia--led me elsewhere. Every professor I talked to about grad school told me to first get a job to experience life outside the ivory tower, and I am so glad that they did.

For a VERY frank discussion of grad student life, check out this article.


#29

I hope this does not get me crucified. :eek: But I believe that if you really want to be knee deep in theology it would be good to go through the undergrad in philosophy, do the four-year master's in theology, then the three-year doctorate for the STD.

My experience with the PhDs in theology is that they alwasy end up coming to the STDs to answer their questions, because the STD is much more conprehensive. The PhD is very focussed, because it's a shorter program of studies. You don't get the benefit of two years of moral theology, three years of scripture, four years of philosophy, two years of canon law, etc. You go directly into your field of expertise. When questions arise outside of the field, you still have to go to the other guys for answers. The STD also allows you a broader range of areas that you can teach.

For example, Fr. Benedict G, Fr. Mitch P, Fr. Corapi, myself and others have STDs, we find that we can move horizontally from scripture to moral theology to liturgy or mystical theology with greater ease, even though we do specialize in one field, but that's only the last three years. The first eight years you get a full-range of exposure It's well worth the 11 years of post high school education, if theology is you passion.

If you don't have the money or the time, then the PhD is the way to go. It's shorter and less expensive. Also you don't have to go to a pontifical school.

Fraternally,

Br. JR, OSF :)


#30

I posted a thread about graduate theological programs in the Water Cooler section a long time ago, but didn't receive many replies, which seemed confusing, since that seemed the most appropriate location. Then I notice the Vocations section for the first time just now, click through, and what's the first thread? Good grad schools for theology! God truly works in mysterious ways ;)

I graduated with a B.A. in Spanish in 2007, but all the jobs available for grads in my major are either in education or the social service sector, neither of which really interests me. I studied Spanish because I'm interested in human culture; especially, more recently, in the role of religion in society. My dream job would be to get paid to write and speak about those kinds of topics, a la Chesterton and C.S. Lewis, or more recently, George Weigel, Father Neuhaus, etc. I did some research and seems that most of those people, at least the more recent examples, studied theology, but it's hard to get specifics on what their concentrations were, if any. A political science degree also seems useful, but I don't know if that would equip me sufficiently to speak about the religious side of the equation. In any case, at least I'd have the foreign language reqs out of the way, which I suppose is no small matter.

What would you recommend for someone in my position?


#31

[quote="jbach, post:30, topic:196465"]
I posted a thread about graduate theological programs in the Water Cooler section a long time ago, but didn't receive many replies, which seemed confusing, since that seemed the most appropriate location. Then I notice the Vocations section for the first time just now, click through, and what's the first thread? Good grad schools for theology! God truly works in mysterious ways ;)

I graduated with a B.A. in Spanish in 2007, but all the jobs available for grads in my major are either in education or the social service sector, neither of which really interests me. I studied Spanish because I'm interested in human culture, especially in the role of religion in society. My dream job would be to get paid to write and speak about those kinds of topics, a la Chesterton and C.S. Lewis, or more recently, George Weigel, Father Neuhaus, etc. I did some research and seems that most of those people, at least the more recent examples, studied theology, but it's hard to get specifics on what their concentrations were, if any. A political science degree also seems useful, but I don't know if that would equip me sufficiently to speak about the religious side of the equation. In any case, at least I'd have the foreign language reqs out of the way, which I suppose is no small matter.

What would you recommend for someone in my position?

[/quote]

Check out The Catholic University of America -- School of Religious Studies. They have many interesting programs in religious studies, which sounds like what you're looking for, rather than a theology program. They are a tad on the expensive side, but they are very good.

Fraternally,

Br. JR, OSF :)


#32

P.S. I'm also currently taking an Arabic class at my local university, because A) Arabic is on the U.S. Govt's "Critical Needs" list and I was hoping this would help me build my resume at a time when I'm otherwise treading water professionally (lots of part-time jobs working with kids), and also B) because I'm very interested in the current "clash of civilizations" between the West and Islam and I've always considered learning the language of a culture to be a prerequisite to understanding it. Do you think this, combined with the Spanish, could also help me carve out that professional "niche" that an earlier poster mentioned (i.e. expertise in Hispanic and/or Arab languages/cultures) and could this expertise actually lead to better job prospects? (I'll be finished with the second-year sequence of Arabic at the end of this summer)


#33

[quote="JReducation, post:31, topic:196465"]
Check out The Catholic University of America -- School of Religious Studies. They have many interesting programs in religious studies, which sounds like what you're looking for, rather than a theology program. They are a tad on the expensive side, but they are very good.

Fraternally,

Br. JR, OSF :)

[/quote]

I went to the CUA website and found this while looking at the list of M.A. concentrations they offer: trs.cua.edu/academic/grad/religionculture/ma.cfm. Seems like it'd be a great fit, but I know from sad experience with my undergrad that simply having a degree isn't enough---you need real-world experience to go with it. I notice that CUA is in Washington, D.C.---does anyone know the logistics of CUA grad students getting internships at places like Catholic think tanks, PACs, NGOs, etc.? Seems like D.C. would be a great place to find such opportunities, and I wonder if they have programs in place to slot grad students into these organizations, or is it up to each individual student to find them?


#34

[quote="jbach, post:33, topic:196465"]
I went to the CUA website and found this while looking at the list of M.A. concentrations they offer: trs.cua.edu/academic/grad/religionculture/ma.cfm. Seems like it'd be a great fit, but I know from sad experience with my undergrad that simply having a degree isn't enough---you need real-world experience to go with it. I notice that CUA is in Washington, D.C.---does anyone know the logistics of CUA grad students getting internships at places like Catholic think tanks, PACs, NGOs, etc.? Seems like D.C. would be a great place to find such opportunities, and I wonder if they have programs in place to slot grad students into these organizations, or is it up to each individual student to find them?

[/quote]

I got my BS, MA, and STL at CUA. First of all, it's a wonderful campus. It's very peaceful. You have the Shrine which serves as the campus chapel. The USCCB is up the street with many opporutnities for internships. The Instittute of John Paul II is across the street, another great place. Washington is a city with many organizations,including different branches of the UN such as the World Health Organization, the World Bank and Organization of American States. There are many private organism in DC and there is a lot of culture there. The Admissions Office can better answer those questions for you.

Fraternally,

Br. JR, OSF :)


#35

[quote="jbach, post:30, topic:196465"]
I posted a thread about graduate theological programs in the Water Cooler section a long time ago, but didn't receive many replies, which seemed confusing, since that seemed the most appropriate location. Then I notice the Vocations section for the first time just now, click through, and what's the first thread? Good grad schools for theology! God truly works in mysterious ways ;)

I graduated with a B.A. in Spanish in 2007, but all the jobs available for grads in my major are either in education or the social service sector, neither of which really interests me. I studied Spanish because I'm interested in human culture; especially, more recently, in the role of religion in society. My dream job would be to get paid to write and speak about those kinds of topics, a la Chesterton and C.S. Lewis, or more recently, George Weigel, Father Neuhaus, etc. I did some research and seems that most of those people, at least the more recent examples, studied theology, but it's hard to get specifics on what their concentrations were, if any. A political science degree also seems useful, but I don't know if that would equip me sufficiently to speak about the religious side of the equation. In any case, at least I'd have the foreign language reqs out of the way, which I suppose is no small matter.

What would you recommend for someone in my position?

[/quote]

If your interested in society a degree in international studies might be better than political science or theology.


#36

[quote="jbach, post:30, topic:196465"]
I posted a thread about graduate theological programs in the Water Cooler section a long time ago, but didn't receive many replies, which seemed confusing, since that seemed the most appropriate location. Then I notice the Vocations section for the first time just now, click through, and what's the first thread? Good grad schools for theology! God truly works in mysterious ways ;)

I graduated with a B.A. in Spanish in 2007, but all the jobs available for grads in my major are either in education or the social service sector, neither of which really interests me. I studied Spanish because I'm interested in human culture; especially, more recently, in the role of religion in society. My dream job would be to get paid to write and speak about those kinds of topics, a la Chesterton and C.S. Lewis, or more recently, George Weigel, Father Neuhaus, etc. I did some research and seems that most of those people, at least the more recent examples, studied theology, but it's hard to get specifics on what their concentrations were, if any. A political science degree also seems useful, but I don't know if that would equip me sufficiently to speak about the religious side of the equation. In any case, at least I'd have the foreign language reqs out of the way, which I suppose is no small matter.

What would you recommend for someone in my position?

[/quote]

Your interests sound similar to mine--I studied political science and theology and found the intersection in political philosophy (with a good bit of history and sociology thrown in for good measure). Honestly, most of the top academic theology programs I found were not very interdisciplinary in nature; the focus was on doctrine and Church history (as it probably should be).

When I was considering graduate school, I looked at programs that were more interdisciplinary in nature in a variety of Catholic-friendly universities, Catholic, Christian, or secular. If I remember correctly, the University of Chicago has a program such as this, I believe in a school of "social thought" or something similar. Duke and Baylor are also have programs that are friendly to scholars seeking the intersection of faith and politics, philosophy, history, or social movements. CUA's PhD program in politics/political philosophy was of great interest to me as well. With your undergrad degree in Spanish, some IR programs might also fit your interests well; Notre Dame has centers for International and Peace studies that are (obviously) friendly to learning from the Catholic Christian tradition. I can give you the names of a few good faculty members if you're interested.

Good luck as you explore this career path. My hat goes off to anyone pursuing grad school...it's an incredibly challenging road to follow, and it doesn't seem to get any easier as the years go on!


#37

[quote="ByzCath, post:35, topic:196465"]
If your interested in society a degree in international studies might be better than political science or theology.

[/quote]

For international studies I believe that Georgetown would be a better choice than CUA. A less pricey (sp?) option would be American University.

Fraternallly,

Br. JR, OSF :)


#38

Does anyone know anything about the Masters in Theological Studies offered by Notre Dame Seminary in New Orleans?


#39

[quote="Rach620, post:36, topic:196465"]
Your interests sound similar to mine--I studied political science and theology and found the intersection in political philosophy (with a good bit of history and sociology thrown in for good measure). Honestly, most of the top academic theology programs I found were not very interdisciplinary in nature; the focus was on doctrine and Church history (as it probably should be).

When I was considering graduate school, I looked at programs that were more interdisciplinary in nature in a variety of Catholic-friendly universities, Catholic, Christian, or secular. If I remember correctly, the University of Chicago has a program such as this, I believe in a school of "social thought" or something similar. Duke and Baylor are also have programs that are friendly to scholars seeking the intersection of faith and politics, philosophy, history, or social movements. CUA's PhD program in politics/political philosophy was of great interest to me as well. With your undergrad degree in Spanish, some IR programs might also fit your interests well; Notre Dame has centers for International and Peace studies that are (obviously) friendly to learning from the Catholic Christian tradition. I can give you the names of a few good faculty members if you're interested.

Good luck as you explore this career path. My hat goes off to anyone pursuing grad school...it's an incredibly challenging road to follow, and it doesn't seem to get any easier as the years go on!

[/quote]

What was the major you ended up getting a degree in, then? And what are you doing now for a career?


#40

Also know that if you go for a Phd in Theology it will be set up so that you will either do research or teach afterwards.

There is also the requirement of knowledge in at least one scholarly language (French or German are usually the ones required) or in two. Also there may be the need for either Latin, Greek, or Hebrew.


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